Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Major League Baseball is expected to broaden its investigation into whether other teams, including the 2019 Houston Astros, used technology to steal signs.
Multiple team sources, including former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, told The Athletic earlier in the week that the 2017 Astros placed a television in a dugout tunnel at Minute Maid Park and relayed a center-field feed of the opposing catcher's signs. If the feed picked up certain pitches, someone would loudly bang on a trash can to tip the Astros batter off to what pitch was coming.
In the aftermath of Fiers' allegations, league sources told ESPN and The Athletic on Thursday that league personnel have started contacting current and previous members of both the Astros and Boston Red Sox organizations.
Among those the league plans to interview in its probe are Astros manager A.J. Hinch, Red Sox manager Alex Cora and New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran, who were part of the 2017 Astros World Series team. According to The Athletic, Beltran, Hinch and Cora each played major roles in devising the sign-stealing system the team allegedly used in 2017.
MLB spoke to former Astros bullpen coach Craig Bjornson, who joined the Red Sox with Cora in 2018, on Wednesday, according to ESPN. The league also plans to speak with former Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman.
MLB will attempt to gather evidence of cheating from around the league and indicated it will consider handing out major suspensions against interviewees who are found to have lied, according to ESPN. The severity of the penalties, which are determined by commissioner Rob Manfred, could be unlike anything seen in baseball's recent history.
Under Manfred, the harshest penalty imposed on a team was a $2 million fine and the forfeiture of two draft picks by the St. Louis Cardinals in January 2017 for a scheme that stole scouting information from the Astros.